Tom Chatfield: 7 Ways Games Reward the Brain

Technology Entertainment and Design, also known as TED is a global set of conferences produced to share innovative “ideas worth spreading.”  Today, I came across an interesting TED Talk by Tom Chatfield, a game theorist, discusses “7 Ways Games Reward The Brain.”  This is a very stimulating and interesting topic specifically for our generation who has spent countless hours playing virtual games, online and video games. 

http://www.ted.com/talks/tom_chatfield_7_ways_games_reward_the_brain.html

To begin, he introduces the topic more generally discussing the size and expansion of game culture today, the revenue going into the industry, and the hours spent playing.  Then, he presents his argument “that games, with their immersive quests and deeply satisfying (and carefully designed) virtual rewards, are a great place to test new approaches to real-world systems that need a reboot.”  And finally, he previews the rest of the speech, in that he will be discussing seven ways that games reward the brain. 

At the end of the speech, he discusses games on a larger scale – how these lessons learned from games can be used outside of games.  Specifically, how to use games as rewards in all aspects of the world including business, education, and government.  Therefore, presents a great conclusion referring back to his introduction, summarizing the speech, and presenting the larger impact of games.   And finally, he leaves the audience with something to think about:  engagement. 

Lastly, Chatfield does a great job with his powerpoint.  He highlights the key points of his speech in the powerpoint presentation, providing only minimal text on each slide -just enough to get the point across, but in order for the audience to really understand, they must be listening to Chatfield’s talk.  So, the powerpoint is not distracting to the audience, just clear and concise, highlighting only the important points.

As you can see when you watch Chatfield’s talk, it is a well practiced, polished speech.  Also, he never looks at the powerpoint presentation behind him.  While watching, it is clear from his delivery that he feels passionate about the topic he is presenting.  He has a good use of hand gestures, constant eye contact with the audience, and good posture.  All of these elements of the speech gain Chatfield credibility, and maintain the audience’s interest.   

Kara Brickman

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